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How To Spot Publishers Clearing House (PCH) Scams!

Hi blog readers! Have you ever received a message from someone who claims to work for PCH? Maybe the message notified you that you won a big prize. Maybe it told you that you needed to pay money to claim that prize. Unfortunately, these messages are Publishers Clearing House scams! They are not from the real Publishers Clearing House. We’ve done a lot here on the blog to try to alert you to these PCH scams, but we thought it might be helpful to provide you with some excerpts from actual scams that were sent by fraudsters illegally using the PCH name, in order to dupe you.

Before we get started, here are few important things to remember: You NEVER have to pay to claim a PCH prize. Winners of our larger prize award amounts are surprised in person by the Prize Patrol, NOT sent messages on Facebook or emails like this. Publishers Clearing House scams often have MANY spelling and grammatical errors. Try to read them out loud … you’ll see how nonsensical they sound. An official PCH message would not be written like that!

Let’s get started!

This message is not from PCH, it is a PCH SCAM! How can you tell?

For starters, none of the above or these contest details are legitimate. If you were to ask a PCH employee about a “Super Bucks Giveaway,” we would be quick to tell you it does not exist. Also, we are in no way associated with the U.S. Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission. AND if you were to use PCHSearch&Win to research that supposed government authority, you would find that it does not even exist in the U.S.

This message is not from PCH, it is a PCH SCAM! How can you tell?

Again, the grammar is off in many places. Just a few examples: “you are been advised,” and “your fund remitted to your account”. Plus, take a look at how the prize amount is written: “$1.200,000.00”. There’s a decimal instead of a comma after the “1”.

This message is not from PCH, it is a PCH SCAM! How can you tell?

They repeated the “this is part of our security protocol” sentence TWICE within the same paragraph! Also, PCH never asks you to keep quiet about your winnings. Quite the opposite! We’re always proudly posting pictures and videos of our winners! But the scammers want you to stay quiet so they can get your money without the authorities finding out.

This message is not from PCH, it is a PCH SCAM! How can you tell?

It’s easy! This message contains the BIGGEST red flag — it asks you to pay money to claim your prize. Remember: you NEVER have to pay or make any purchase to claim a prize from Publishers Clearing House. Also, if you ever hear/see the words “GREEN DOT MONEY PAK CARD” in a message from someone claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House, head for the hills! The scammers will take the account numbers from this card, cash the money you spent on it, and never award you the prize, because there never was a real prize — they are scammers.

There you have it folks. These are just a few ways you can spot PCH scams! As always, you should always verify the information in any winner notification you may receive before making any risky moves. And if you ever have any questions, let us know!

Stay safe everyone!

Laura Wolfe @ PCH

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  1. There was man call me a week ago and claimed he was with the Publisher Clearing House. Said my prize check was waiting for me at the Bank of America. Then when I get her she takes down my information. Wanted me to take a loan out to pay 5,200 fee. I refused. So I changed my checking account then today I got another call. And this is the number they used917-231-0443. I refused to answer their questions told them if it was true. I expected to see the PCH at my door.

  2. Hello: I was just contacted by Dave Sayer, he gave me his badge number and prize control ID card number. I have won $2,500,000.00. He said I need to open up a savings account at my local bank and they will receive a wire transfer for that amount. However, there is the problem of income taxes and gift taxes and I need to have a place for the money for the taxes to be sent, via wire transfer.

    1. Hi Billy, please be careful. I’m sorry to tell you that was a scammer, not the real PCH. It’s important to remember that PCH does not contact winners of a major prize via phone, text, email, mail, or on Social Media. Also, if anyone asks you for money for any reason to claim a prize, you can be sure they’re a scammer. Please don’t give them any money, or any personal information! Scammers are very sneaky and will use our good name and reputation to try to deceive people. Stopping them is a team effort so please report any and all scam contacts you receive to PCH at this link: We provide numerous videos, blogs, and tips to recognize these scammers here: Stay safe!

  3. I received a phone call from someone saying they were from PCH telling me that I won $24.5 million plus A new Mercedes SUV. They told me that I have to pay a fee to the IRS. The phone number they called from is 516495$$$$. Is this a scam? They said they are sending me documents by email. I have not received them yet. They told me not to contact the IRS about the fee. They said that PCH won a Supreme Court case in the 1980s so that prize recipients don’t need to pay taxes on the winnings.

  4. I have been getting calls from a Mary Smith which shows up as No Caller ID on my iPhone. I have supposedly won $1.2M dollars, a washer/drier set and an automobile. To get the prizes, I have to have a valid state ID and a Vanilla card with $199. When I get them I call $$$ $$$ $$$$ and the prize patrol will be notified to bring the prizes to me. I will have to present the ID and Vanilla card to the prize patrol when they arrive. I supposedly will only have to pay 1% tax on my winnings and will get $5000 per week for life added to my Vanilla card. PCH will pay 99% of the taxes. They do not want a bank account for the weekly deposit. I know this is a scam because they want me to first buy a Vanilla card but it would only have $199 on it. As soon as I give them the card number it would be emptied. I don’t understand why they would go to so much trouble for only $199.

    1. Hi Stein, That is not the real PCH calling you; it’s a scammer that’s only pretending to be from PCH. We doesn’t notify our major prize winners via phone, standard mail, email, or social media, and we never ask for money to claim a prize. Please report any details you have about that scam contact to us at this link: Stay safe everyone!

  5. Received a message this morning that I won over 2 Million Dollars and to call back to this number: $$$ $$$-$$$$.
    When I came home I called the number. It was a man that answered, did not sound too intelligent.
    I told him, that PCH usually comes to the door if someone wins a big prize like that. Was told, that it was not the case this time. He then mentioned that the money would be deposited into my Bank Account and if I ever had done something like that. At that point I knew for sure, this was a scam.
    Told him that I will NOT give anyone my Bank account Information !! Told him to send me a letter, and he said he would.

    1. Hi Karin, we’re glad you could tell that was a scammer. Please report all contacts from scammers to PCH via this link: PCH does partner with the Federal Trade Commission and we send all scam reports to them so please make sure you let us know anytime a scammer contacts you. Remember, the real PCH never notifies major prize winners via phone, standard mail, email, or social media, and we never ask winners to pay to claim their prize. You can see more Safety Tips here: Stay safe!

  6. I received a voicemail today, excitedly telling me I had won $6 million in the PCH senior drawing (I’ll be 85 on 9/5), and I should call $$$-$$$-$$$$ and speak with Michael McAllister. If I don’t call that number, it will be a sign of non-interest, and the prize will be given to someone else. How’s that for a doozy?

    1. Hi Charles! That is not the real PCH calling you; it’s a scammer that’s only pretending to be from PCH. Please do not call that number, do not give the scammer any personal info including bank account information, and definitely do not send them any money if they ask. Make sure to report that scam contact to us via the following link: I encourage you to read these Safety Tips too: Stay safe!